Mitchell Senior High School

920 N. Capital

Mitchell, SD 57301

(605) 996-8584


Critical Issues

Ms. Olson

Gold 4

Date Assignment Description Due Date
1/7/13 Syllabus


Read: Native American Poverty, Why Are Indian Reservations So Poor?  A Look at the Bottom 1%, On Tribal Lands, Digital Divide Brings New Form of Isolation

Signed by parent (s) or guardian

Expectations of Class



1/9/13 Discuss: Poverty on the Reservation

Read: Schools: Where Jim Crow Lives On, How colleges discriminate against Asians, punishing whites for being white

1/11/13 Racism in Education

Default homepage

Read: Targeting Teachers, Taking Aim at tenure

Classroom Activity on Race and Education

1/15/13 Poverty, Race and Education

Watch: Waiting for Superman

Read: Waiting for a Fair Shake: The One Sidedness of "Waiting for Superman"




1/17/13 Finish Waiting for Superman

Waiting for Superman study guide and essay

Read: Whites More Likely to Abuse Drugs than Blacks, The Myth of Desegregation, America's Gun Problem is Not a Race Problem




1/22/13 Watch: When Kids Get Life

Read: The Prison Nation

1/24/13 Finish: When Kids Get Life

Discuss Making a Documentary

Choose Partner and Documentary Topic

Read: Inside Your Teen's Head

1/28/13 Newtown shooting

Finding accurate sources, bias, fact-checking

Read: Obama invokes constitution, SD House panel approves guns in schools, 2nd amendment, Fire Away

Investigate provisions of current Obama Plan

1/30/13 Gun control Debate    
2/1/13 Life in prison, gun control, race and poverty

Article assignment

Find 2 articles that fit with your ideas on one of the topics from this unit 2/5/13
2/5/13 Article Discussion

2 Things you Learned

Looking at the different sides of a topic

Read: As Homelessness Grows, Even Havens Toughen Up, Apartments Welcome Homeless Alcoholics, New Generation of Homeless Vets Emerges

5 Ideas you want to explore about your topic 2/7/13
2/7/13 Ways to eliminate Poverty in U.S.

Study of programs to help the poor and homeless in Mitchell

Develop your own program

Read: UN: Ten priorities for poverty eradication, 2012 World Hunger and Poverty Statistics

2/11 Snow Day    
2/13/13 International Poverty and U.S. Obligation to Assist

What are basic human rights?

Test Study Guide

Complete Study guide For Test 2/13/13
2/19/13 Unit Test

Read: Is Hell Dead?, Heaven Can't Wait, The truth about Secular America

2/21/13 Religion Survey

Survey of World Religions

Essay: Religious convictions/impact on life

Read: Teen Angels, The Rise of Atheism

Complete Chart on World Religions


2/25/13 Discussion: Trends in Religious beliefs in the 21st century

Read: When All Muslims are Suspect, When Faith Leads to the Death of a Child, When Religion Diminishes Women

Assignment: Find 2 current event articles discussing a negative or positive aspect of religion with 1 paragraph summary

2/27/13 Discussion: Positives and Negatives of World Religions

Read: The End of Morality, Soul Search

Essay: How would you define morality?  Where does it come from?


3/1/13 Discuss Morality, Is there a Soul, Miracles, Demons

Assignment: Morality Scenario/Interviews

Read: The Pig Man cometh, New Hope for Stem Cells, A stem cell breakthrough

3/5/13 Small group ethical dilemmas: Genetic research, stem cells, testing on animals, cloning

Essay: Cloning, Animal testing

Read: The New Dr. Death, Smeared as Killers of the Elderly, Nazi's Plan,

3/11/13 Watch: 60 Minutes: Dr. Jack Kevorkian

Discuss: The holocaust, euthanasia vs. assisted suicide

Esssay: Euthanasia and assisted suicide

 Read: Assisting in my Parents Suicide, At the Bottom of the Slippery Slope, Brain damaged, comatose, but conscious, Declaring War on Newborns

3/13/13 Watch: Clips from Million Dollar Baby

Discuss: Living Wills, Decision-makers in death process, Hippocratic oath for doctors

Complete Study Guide


Study for Test 3/15/13
3/15/13 Religion and Ethics Test    
3/19/13 Teen Sex

Dateline: Teen Sex

Discuss: Sexting, Hooking up, GHB

Read: Plan B and a Coke, Teen birth rates decline yet again in the United States, Birth Control: Should it be free, Fewer US tens, young adults being intimate






3/21/13 Finish Dateline: Teen Sex

Teens and Birth Control

Survey Says.....

Read: Hormonographics, What is it that keeps couples together longer, Marraige: What's It





3/25/13 Marriage

Video: Marriage: Not just a piece of Paper

Read: How not to hate your spouse, Not our parents' divorce, A costly marriage crisis, The Slippery Slope of Cohabitation

Marriage Interview Assignments





3/27/13 Final Project Research Day Find 5 sources for your final project 4/2/13
4/2/13 Marriage/Divorce/Cohabitation

Marriage Essays

Read: Gays can't be converted, Big brother link to homosexuality, An ever-changing union, Polygamy: Why is it illegal


4/4/13 Discuss: Parental rights, what makes good parents?  Defining parenthood

Group activity: Review cases and decide who should be given custody

Read: Court Weighs Prenatal Rights, Parental rights lawsuit, Raped, pregnant, ordeal not over


4/8/13 Homosexuality

Watch: Can Gays Change?

Primetime: Gay Gene?

Nature vs Nurture, Disease or natural behavior

4/12/13 Same Sex Marriage/Polygamy

Judicial precedent - Is it a slippery slope?

Discuss: Current Supreme Court cases, Is it a religious issue, a civil rights issue, or something else?

Clips from "Sister Wives" and Dateline"

Read: Read: Prenatal Testing, too much Information, Using Abortion to get rid of girls, Abortion: First View the fetus, Women jailed for getting abortion

4/16/13 Survey on Abortion Opinions

Discuss: U.S./SD Abortion laws, abortion rates, acceptable reasons for abortions

Essay: Abortion Opinion Essays

Read: To Live and Die in Philadelphia, Youth, Incest and Abortion, From Blessing to Curse

4/18/13 Watch: House of Horrors, AC 360

Discuss: Regulations of Abortions, regulation vs persecution, Wrongful birth lawsuits

Article Assignment

Read: Having Children at the End of Life, Zsa, Zsa, World's Oldest Dad, An Affair to Remember



Find 2 original articles on a topic discussed in this unit.  Write a 1 paragraph summary and a 1 paragraph opinion on the topic


4/22/13 Discuss: Reproductive Cut-off age, Relationships and the Elderly

Article Presentations to class

Study Guides

Complete for Unit Test 4/26/13
4/24/13 Final Project Research Day #2

Work on Storyboard, plan final work day

Find 2nd 5 Research Articles (can be internet sources)  Submit all 5 by end of class along with correct MLA citation 4/24/13


4/26/13 Sex Unit Test

Read: Boston Marathon Bombing suspect, Bloomberg Says Interpretation of Constitution

4/30/13 Watch: Unconstitutional: The Movie

Essay on Patriot Act

Read: Supreme Court Rules, Supreme Court Hears

5/2/13 Discuss: Constitutional Rights in Times of Crisis, Relocations, Habeas Corpus, Guantanamo Bay

Read: eminent domain

5/6/13 Eminent Domain

Watch: Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences Worksheet

Read: Drone Home, Drone Use in U.S. raises privacy concerns

5/8/13 Drones and Surveillance

Classroom Debate: How far is too far, right to trial/use on Americans, invasion of privacy

CBS Report on Drones in America

5/10/13 Project Workday

Seniors Depart @ 2:15 for Graduation Rehearsal

Read: Doctors Debate Universal Health Care, Reid: Obamacare could be "train wreck"

5/14/13 Socialized Medicine and the Affordable Care Act

Discussion of Affordable Care, Socialized medicine in U.S. and abroad, rising health care costs, positives and benefits of new plan, Constitutionality of mandatory health care

5/16/13 Final Project/Paper Workday Documentaries - 5min

Papers - 5 pages, cited correctly in MLA format

Final Projects Due: 5/20/13

Final Papers Due 5/13/13

5/20/13 Present Documentaries Finish Final Paper  
5/22/13 Final